Thursday 3 January 2013

We have to be proud of our country? Now?

Just put up on Facebook:

Ah, on cue: as the economy takes a dive, the government wheek out the old trusty wagon of patriotism: we'll make children 'proud of their country'. Really? The governing classes can't even decide what is 'this country'? England? UK? UK minus Scotland? Are these common histories? Or separate? And did the countries of the UK go outside of these borders to do stuff in Ireland? Africa? India? Australasia? Why? How?

And should 'we' (who is this 'we'?) be unquestioningly 'proud' of everything? Right at the moment when 'our' government is waging war on the poor? Even as we discover that 'our' police covered up their lies about Hillsborough for 23 years? Why should I surrender my right to be critical of the UK past and present in some chunk of unquestioned feeling called 'pride'? Why can't I have a mix of feelings? Why can't I identify with different unities other than 'nation'?

Why should teachers have to be conscripted to deliver this stuff even as their pensions are being robbed by 'our country', even as their pay is frozen ,even as children they teach are arriving at school not having had breakfast ?

Go away with your 'pride'. While you're being 'proud', you're taking away benefits, trying to set the working poor against the unemployed, and slashing the services people need in order to survive and better themselves. Go away with your 'pride'.